Industry Leaders Convene for Inaugural Global Medical Cannabis Summit

  • Creating an independent Medical Cannabis Hub to spearhead the future of medical cannabis to benefit all

The GMCS was created and hosted by Jacana and Aurora Cannabis, with the Summit to take place on an annual basis.

The GMCS was created and hosted by Jacana and Aurora Cannabis, with the Summit to take place on an annual basis.

The inaugural Global Medical Cannabis Summit (GMCS) recently concluded on Necker Island, convening an influential cross section of scientists, policy makers, industry leaders and advocates who committed to accelerating patient access to certified medical cannabis.

The Summit is a not-for-profit, annual event with the mission of ensuring that patients anywhere in the world have unimpeded access to safe medical cannabis.

The event welcomed a group of 40 industry leaders and experts from a broad range of backgrounds for the three-day event, including:

  • Dr Dedi Meiri, Lead Investigator at Technion Lab of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research

  • Terry Booth, CEO of Aurora Cannabis

  • Ethan Nadelmann, Founder of the Drug Policy Alliance

  • Hon. Audley Shaw, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries

  • José María Figueres, Former President of Costa Rica & President, Carbon War Room

  • Sir Richard Branson, Member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

  • Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch, Director of the Open Society Global Drug Policy Program

  • Alexandra Chong, CEO of Jacana

  • Hon. Anne McLellan, Chair of the Cannabis Task Force for the Government of Canada

  • Carly Barton, Director of United Patients Alliance

The Summit comes at a time when the global cannabis industry is experiencing rapid growth that is fast surpassing outdated policy. Legalisation of medical cannabis is spreading globally – patient access, however, remains compromised by the inconsistent integration and slow implementation of policy around the world. In particular, legal regulation on an international scale has been slow to move forward in spite of the World Health Organization’s recommendation for cannabis and cannabis resin to be deleted from Schedule IV of the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs in January 2019.

The inaugural Summit covered key topics around what matters, what’s possible and what’s ahead in navigating the future of cannabis in medicine.

The inaugural Summit covered key topics around what matters, what’s possible and what’s ahead in navigating the future of cannabis in medicine.

The Summit addressed the most critical issues facing the industry today, helping to accelerate and enhance patient access to medical cannabis. These include building consensus on key issues such as patient accessibility, education, research, and policy reform, as well as defining best practices for regulating medical cannabis on a global scale. 

To tackle these critical issues, the GMCS introduced a collective pledge to create The Medical Cannabis Hub – an open-source collaborative, independent group. The Hub will ensure medical cannabis serves humanity in the best possible way, with a focus on industry stewardship and evidence-based data.

It will initially focus on three critical objectives:

  • Creating a shared hub for medical cannabis through standardised data and rapid learning

  • Building a network of 200+ scientists to help catalyse funding for research

  • Educating and sharing industry best practices to mobilize medical cannabis for the benefit of all

The Hub will be coordinated by an independent management team and further information on the Medical Cannabis Hub will be released in coming weeks.  

We’re experiencing an explosion of medical cannabis growth around the world, yet there is little to no coordination between national regulatory bodies, research facilities, and the private sector. We see this as the first step in forming the Medical Cannabis Hub – a powerful collaborative global community whose mission is to ensure patients anywhere in the world have access to certified medical cannabis
— Alexandra Chong, CEO of Jacana
Any drug policy should first and foremost seek to reduce harm and pain, not to increase it. As someone interested in evidence-based policy, I feel the case for medical cannabis is overwhelming.
— Sir Richard Branson, member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy
Medical research for cannabis has historically been constrained by international drug controls. With the shifting tide and increased awareness of the clinical potential of cannabinoids, research must continue to focus and prioritise the important role cannabis can play in modern day medicine.
— Dr Dedi Meiri, Head at Technion Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Cannabinoid Research
What exists currently is a sporadic scattering of countries and states who have some kind of access system. This global ‘postcode’ lottery is not ideal, nor is it humanitarian. As a result of this first Summit, the Medical Cannabis Hub is set to join the dots; promoting a culture of sharing amongst countries who are establishing their own set of policies around the introduction of this class of medicines. The core agenda here is access, at the heart of which is a genuine desire to get this right, for the patient.
— Carly Barton, Director of United Patients Alliance
Jacana